How did Jesus find who he was?
Reading: Luke 2:41-52
Additional reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Blank: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Temple, Father, Obediently, Matured
(1) Jesus has come at last
Jesus was born.
That means that God was born, because Jesus is God.
So, when Jesus was born, I see God’s humility there.
Because it means Jesus was to be taken care of.
He had to be fed.
(2) He had to be washed.
Anyway, growing up, he learned a lot of things.
He gained more wisdom and understanding.
Then one day, he realized what he needed to do with his life.
So, he talked about it with his mom.
It was like this.
I am going to tell you that story.
Imagine with me.
Now Jesus was about twelve years old.
(3) Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem, with his family, friends and relatives.
“Wow, this is my father’s house. Woohoo.”
Then there, he got a wonderful revelation.
He made a remarkable discovery of himself.
He realized that God lives within him.
He realized that God and he are one.
(4) It was so powerful.
So, Jesus got busy, sharing his idea with the smart people in the temple.
Jesus started his ministry, right there.
He wanted to carry out his dream.
Jesus was hungry for God.
But the problem was none of his family members knew where he was.
And now, his mother was looking for him.
In fact, she was looking for him for four days.
(5) When she found him, she was so glad as if he had come back to life.
But, she also said to Jesus:
“What are you doing here?
We worry about you!”
Then the boy Jesus said:
“Why did you worry about me?
I am supposed to do what I am supposed to do.”
(6) All this time, Jesus was sure that his mother understood everything.
But looking at her eyes, Jesus realized:
He realized then he got to wait a bit more before starting his ministry.
Jesus realized that his dream was about to die and rise again.
Then twenty years later, Jesus started his ministry again.
During these twenty years of waiting, he observed a lot of people.
Jesus learned to have patience, gentleness, humility, compassion, and kindness.
He also learned about God’s plan for his life.
He also learns that God uses not-so-smart people and not-so-powerful people.
Through these people, God likes to show God’s power and wisdom.
Realizing these, Jesus didn’t go back to the temple to start his ministry.
(7) Jesus chose to have a visit with John the Baptist.
Who is John the Baptist?
John was the one who left everything to serve God.
Then John stayed foolish for God for all his life.
(8) Since John lived like this, Jesus also humbled himself to be baptized by John.
Jesus also left everything and became the wondering preacher who was going to save the World.
But the Holy Spirit also had another idea.
(9) The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God sent Jesus to the wilderness.
There Jesus spent 40 days, like a monk.
He prayed and thought about his life.
There he might have asked himself:
“Who am I?
Why am I here?
How should I live my life?
Why should I work? What kind of work?”
Then he might have realized something.
Spending time in the presence of God, like this, he received an answer.
He realized who he truly was.
In this wilderness, Jesus learns God’s plan for his life.
He learned: what kind of Savior he should be?
He learned that the Savior is to die and rise again for his people.
(10) But throughout his life, Jesus was tempted to find an easy way out, instead of dieing on the cross.
The question was asked then:
“Is this really the only way?”
Maybe that was why Jesus prayed even more.
Through all those prayers, Jesus discovered himself.
Then Jesus was able to answer the question without any doubt.
Realizing who he is, Jesus lived a simple life.
He extremely simplified his life.
Then Jesus left everything and chose one thing, the will of God that he knew so well.
Living a simple life, Jesus freed himself from other obligation.
(11) Realizing who he is, Jesus started his ministry at the Sea of Galilee.
He taught fishermen, tax-collectors, radicals, not-so-smart people and not-so-powerful people.
Jesus goes to slums and poor areas, teaching them about God’s love.
Jesus talked about forgiveness and love through telling various stories and teaching people.
He also healed people.
Often Jesus healed people and said:
“God is here. The Kingdom of God is here.”
Then Jesus was happy.
(12) But to many people, the life of Jesus didn’t make sense.
Why would God want to be born as a human child?
Why would the Son of God want to become a human being, knowing fully well he would suffer and die?
To many people, the life of Jesus doesn’t make sense.
The life of Jesus may start to make sense when we realize God really loves human beings.
It may start to make sense when we realize God lives in the joy of loving us.
That is what the story of Jesus tries to explain: the crazy love of God for you.
God loves you.
Jesus taught this unconditional love.
No matter what you do, you just cannot stop him from loving you.
God loves you.
This reality sometimes seems almost beyond our reach.
But when we let ourselves touched by God's love, our life opens up to others.
But then some people may still say that some of what Jesus said doesn’t really make sense.
For example, Jesus said:
“Love your enemy and pray for them.”
But some people may say:
“Are you kidding me?”
"Love your enemy" may sound stupid or foolish.
But yes, Jesus is inviting us to be foolish for God.
Because being foolish for God, we may become truly wise.
That is why Jesus became foolish for God and for us.
Through this early life of Jesus, Jesus may say to us that it is ok to believe something.
It is ok to stay hungry for God.
It is ok to be different.
It is ok to dedicate your life to God.
(10) The early life of Jesus may also explain to us about how to live an abundant life.
So, let me summarize them for you to follow through.
(13) Here are three action plans that we may take to follow Jesus.
First, ask God about who you are.
Ask God about what life path you should take.
Pray in the Spirit.
Walk in the Spirit, asking:
“What should I do with my life?
Why am I here?
Why am I still here?"
The Holy Spirit may let you know.
In fact, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit so that we may understand about God and about ourselves.
Secondly, know that your dream may die and rise again.
So, instead of giving up, prepare yourself, for that unknown future.
Get ready a bit more.
It may be possible.
Thirdly, once you know about your life purpose, you need to simplify your life accordingly.
Eliminate all the things you don’t use.
Give it away.
If you want to truly find your life, you need to get rid of all those things.
Because they may be distracting you.
Then, focus on one thing at a time, one important thing, your life purpose and your joy in life.
What is it?